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8 Tips for a Great Gym Meet

Mrs.+Waugh+%2703+and+her+classmates+at+her+junior+gym+meet+
Mrs. Waugh '03 and her classmates at her junior gym meet

Mrs. Waugh '03 and her classmates at her junior gym meet

Mrs. Waugh '03 and her classmates at her junior gym meet

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We all know what Gym Meet is within the Maryvale community. You have three songs and three march formations. Every class has a theme, costumes, and so on. But the Gym Meet we know and love today has been years in the making. It is constantly changing and evolving as classes pass through Maryvale. In the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of interviewing 8 alums who are members of the Maryvale faculty and staff about Gym Meet: the oldest being a graduate of the “Legendary Class of 1973” and the youngest being a graduate of the class of 2010.

As I went through this process I was able to see just how different Gym Meet is now, compared to when Gym Meet first began. For starters, there were no themes. There was a book filled with different formations for classes to choose from.  Also, Gym Meet wasn’t just a competition between classes; in the morning, there were red and grey competitions organized as a field day. Interestingly, the red and grey competitions were a bigger deal than the gym meet aspect of the day. It wasn’t until this past decade that the red/grey competition ended and the day became solely about Gym Meet.

As the school year comes to a close, every class is preparing for Gym Meet. By now, the Seniors and Juniors are pros and the Sophomores have at least had a gym meet as a class before, but this year is the first year that the Freshman will perform in Gym Meet as a completed class.  Every year the Freshman’s gym meet has varying levels of success. Some years, the freshman are able to pull a great performance together, yet other years, it’s a struggle. After interviewing, Mrs. Kellermann ’73, Mrs. Fise ’74, Mrs. Tiralla ’80, Mrs. Hughes ‘88, Mrs. Dicriscio ’01, Mrs. Randisi ’01, Mrs. Waugh ’03, and Ms. Puszcz ’10, I was able to glean some of their Gym Meet wisdom:

1. Listen to your captains. Every single alum that I spoke to emphasized the importance of listening to your captains. For better or for worse, the four girls who are your captains are leading your class. They are working hard to make Gym Meet a great experience, but they need you and your classmates to listen to get the most out of every practice.

2.  Respect each other and everyone’s ideas. We all have different notions and thoughts about how Gym Meet should be run and what we should do, so it’s important that we are respectful when accepting and attempting to implement ideas. Someone in your grade might come up with something no one’s ever thought of before.

3.  Take Gym Meet Seriously. It’s easy to just goof off freshman year and not care about your class’s Gym Meet. Still, Freshman Gym Meet is the foundation for your class’s Gym Meet for the rest of high school, so put effort into it. Motivate yourself and your classmates to give the best performance they can. Mrs. Tiralla said, “You might think it’s silly but it’s not. If you’re goofing off you’re going to miss little things.”

4.  Keep it simple. This was another point that every alum emphasized for Freshman Gym Meet. Mrs. Waugh says, “Keep it simple. The thing that judges really appreciate is it being clever but not overly complicated.” It is better to have a simpler formation and do it well, than have a super complicated one that is a mess. The uncomplicated marches can get the best results if they are done right.

5.  Utilize the practice time. Finding a time where the entire class can meet and practice is difficult, so it’s important that you use the time that you’ve been given wisely. Mrs. Dicriscio’s advice is, “If you have a suggestion, go to a captain or committee person outside of practice. You need the practice time to actually work on the marches and songs.”

6.  Break the marches down. When you’re first learning a formation, it can be hard to understand the big picture. Mrs. Fise’s recommendation was, “The captains can explain the full march so that everybody understands the formations and gets the big picture. Then, break it down.” This will minimize confusion and make for an easier practice for everyone.

7.  Help out the new additions to your class. For returning middle schoolers, many have been doing gym meet for the past three years, but you have to remember that the new students have absolutely no idea how to do anything. So make sure that you are teaching them all the rules the way you were taught as sixth graders. Mrs. Kellerman eloquently said, “It’s hard for freshmen who weren’t at Maryvale in middle school to do gym meet because they’ve never seen it. Gym Meet is one of those things that you have to live through to really grasp it.”

8.  Have Fun! This final tip is the most important one of all. You only get four Gym Meets and it is one of the most special experiences you will ever have as a class. Mrs. Randisi says that, “Gym meet is a lot of fun and I want everyone to enjoy it.” At the end of the day, it is supposed to be a class bonding experience and a healthy competition between classes. Regardless of the results, you will have completed your first Gym Meet as a class! It can only get better from here.

No matter what year you are, everyone can benefit from applying these ideas when preparing for Gym Meet. So get excited for a great Gym Meet and cross your fingers for good weather!

 

 

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8 Tips for a Great Gym Meet